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Scotland County Public Housing Employees Accused of Sexual Harassment

The US Department of Justice has alleged that two employees of a public housing agency serving Scotland County and its environs are guilty of sexually harassing women who applied for housing vouchers. The Department of Justice has filed a case against the Southeastern Community and Family Services Inc as well as two of its employees, John Wesley and Eric Pender. Pender is a former Highway Patrol Trooper who was fired for misconduct from the patrol.

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Unenviable Behavior

According to the lawsuit, Wesley and Pender made inappropriate sexual comments and touched the women who applied for or received housing vouchers in a sexual way. Those women who rebuffed the advances faced adverse action, according to the lawsuit. The department also said that the housing agency failed to take corrective action against the employees for their inappropriate conduct.

At the time when the sexual harassment is alleged to have happened Wesley was the Section 8 housing Coordinator and Pender was a housing inspector. While Pender has been laid off and Wesley no longer holds a supervisory position, these changes were not related to the lawsuit. As a consequence of the lawsuit, Wesley is expected to be accompanied by a female office manager if he has to make any house inspections.

Prior to this, eight other women had brought charges of sexual harassment against Pender and Wesley and a settlement is being negotiated for them.

In the present case the Department of Justice has asked for monetary compensation for the women who were harassed as well as civil penalties and a court order barring the agency from future sexual harassment and asking them to implement better procedures to prevent such acts of sexual harassment.

Fair Housing Act

The Department of Justice is enforcing the measures against sexual harassment in this case, using the provisions of the Fair Housing Act. The department has said it reiterated that no one can be denied access to affordable housing on the basis of their sex or be expected to endure sexual harassment from the people charged with providing them relief.

Legal Representation

If you have been subjected to sexual harassment in the form of unwanted sexual suggestions, jokes, exposure, or touch when interacting with public officials such as public housing agency officials, or unfairly denied access to these benefits because you rebuffed the sexual advances, you need to consult with a sexual harassment attorney who can help represent your case to the authorities. When the case is investigated and proved the Department of Justice will try and obtain monetary compensation for you as well as impose civil and other penalties on the offenders to deter such behavior in the future.

Overwhelming the other Side

Sexual harassment is often difficult to prove if there are no witnesses to the objectionable speech or acts. However, an experienced sexual harassment attorney will be able to use the available evidence and even try to entice other victims of the offender(s) to also testify against them in order to obtain justice for you that you rightfully deserve. After all, you and these other victims are all in this together. With so much evidence, they may not even have to testify since the opposition may just want to settle out of court.